The Hymn Tune Index is a comprehensive index of all hymn tunes appearing in English-language sources up to 1820. I was not involved in the project. It was conceived and supervised by my father, Nicholas Temperley, who passed away in 2020. At the website linked above, you can search for individual tunes in various ways; however, the complete database is not available there. I was given permission by my father (and also by Joseph Herl, who has been extensively involved in the project and continues to work on it) to make a simplified form of the database publicly available, for use in corpus research projects, and I do so here.

A single, tab-delimited text file containing the simplified form of the database is available here: hymn_tune_index

The file has lines like the following:

2.      a      major      1      11121354
2.      a      major      2      3565321
2.      a      major      3      3432D7U1D65
2.      a      major      4      5U222342(1)2

Each line corresponds to a phrase (or line) within a tune. The first number in a line is number of the tune in the database. The following letter is used in cases where there is more than one variant of a tune (indicated as a, b, c, etc.). The next field is either “major” or “minor”, indicating the mode of the tune. The following number indicates the phrase number within the tune. The final field indicates the pitches of the phrase, in diatonic scale degrees: in C major, C is 1, D is 2, and so on. (Chromatic alterations are not shown, i.e. chromatic notes are simply represented in their diatonic forms: in C major, C# will be represented as 1, Db as 2.) Each note is assumed to be in the same octave as the previous note unless preceded by U (indicating an octave higher) or D (indicating an octave lower). Parentheses indicate a melisma, i.e. a note that continues the same syllable of text as the previous note.

There are 17,683 tunes (not counting multiple variants of a single tune). (The last tune number is 18330, but some numbers are skipped.)

For more details about the encoding system, see